Yesterday, I couldn’t wait to get home. But as eager as I was to see my own home on a Friday afternoon, I was looking forward to an evening away from home on Saturday night…with someone who really knows how to appreciate coming home.
I met Bryan Hayes about five years ago. I had just started teaching at the school where he worked as PE coach. He did not appear to fit into the coach role. He had long hair and looked like he really hadn’t done a push up in awhile.
As a couple of school years came and went, however, I learned more and more about my friend. He could play the guitar and willingly brought it along with his mellow voice and beautiful wife to many late night functions.
He didn’t just play the guitar. He had a BAND: Bryan Hayes and the Retrievers… not so odd of a name when you know that Bryan is an animal advocate. He has a home full of rescued Labs of all shapes and sizes.
One day Bryan came to school without the rest of his hair. I thought that maybe he had gotten into trouble somehow, but nothing could have been further from the truth. Bryan had joined the Army National Guard. This spring while most of us were living somewhat normal lives, Bryan was in Iraq. This son, husband, uncle, friend, singer, and teacher was busy making sure we had a safe place to call home.
Tonight Bryan and his band stood on a stage and humbly entertained friends and family. Wait. No. He entertained family. Bryan Hayes, our brother, is home.
(Click the picture to watch Bryan and the Retrievers play “Lonesome Soldier.”)